During an FBA, the school team gathers information and uses it to create a plan to improve behavior. Here are the steps the team takes.
1. Define the challenging behavior.
An FBA starts by defining the student’s behavior in a specific and objective way. For example, instead of saying the student is “defiant,” the team might say the student “rips up worksheets and doesn’t respond when asked to show work in math class.”
2. Gather and analyze information.
Next, the team pulls together information and data about the behavior. It may look at school records, interview school staff who know and work with the student, and screen or test the student. The goal is to answer questions like:
When and where is this behavior happening?
Where is it not happening?
How often is the behavior occurring?
Who is around when it occurs?
What tends to happen right before and right after the behavior?
The student can provide this information, too. Only kids know how they feel in the moment. Asking them to keep track of feelings and emotions helps the team. The team might also note how classmates react.
3. Find out the reason for the behavior.
Using the information collected, the team makes their best guess about what’s causing the behavior. It may be that the student is trying to escape or avoid something, for example.
4. Make a plan.
Finally, led by the school psychologist or a behavior specialist, the team creates a plan based on its best guess. Here’s where the school creates the BIP to teach and encourage positive behavior by the student. Often, as the team learns more, it will need to adjust the plan.
behavior intervention plans